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Middlesbrough 0-1 Chelsea, Player Ratings: Diego Costa continues remarkable season

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1. DIEGO COSTA 8.6
Minutes played90
Touches62
Passes32/41
Shots1*/3
Take-ons2/6
Tackles3
Diego Costa had let a few of his teammates catch up as far as Man of the Match awards are concerned, but now that both Eden Hazard and N'Golo Kanté had gotten a few, Costa was back with a vengeance to claim his team-leading fifth of the season.

In his 14 rated appearances, Costa has found himself in the top three 11 times. Eight of his 12 starts have garnered ratings of 8.0+.  He's having a rather remarkable season, now two clear at the top of the goalscoring charts with 10 and even managing to not collect a yellow card for 7 matches on the bounce.

If we were to decide a Player of the Year at this juncture, there would only be one choice.

2. DAVID LUIZ 8.4
Minutes played90
Touches56
Passes31/42
Shots0/1
Clearances8/8
Block+INT+RECs6
Diego Costa may not have serious competition for Player of the Year honors at this point, but since the return of David Luiz, he does have a competitor — or, more likely, a partner in crime — when it comes to jokes and pranks and general merriment in the Chelsea camp.

But we knew we'd get that with David Luiz; that's a big part of what endeared him so much to the fanbase in his first time around with the club.  Now, deployed as the anchor of the 3-4-3, in a position that plays to his strengths and minimizes his weaknesses (as the new system does for many others in the squad), David Luiz has quietly become one of the best defenders in the league.

I mean, this was never in doubt for me and I thought it was a travesty when he left — so I was always going to be ecstatic that he returned — but it's worked out better than even I could've imagined.  So far...

3. VICTOR MOSES 8.2
Minutes played88
Touches74
Passes54/68
Shots0/3
Take-ons1/1
And then there is Victor Moses, who, by his mid-20s, had been written off probably more times than anyone else in the current lineup.  Here he is, with his sixth straight 8.0+ rating.

Everybody loves Victor Moses.  Welcome to the Year of Victor Moses.

(I laughed at the 1/1 take-ons stat — he was that uncovered for the vast majority of the match!)

STARTERS:
Courtois (7.7), Cahill (7.4), David Luiz (8.4), Azpilicueta (7.5), Alonso (7.2), Matić (7.4), Kanté (7.3), Moses (8.2), Hazard (7.7), Costa (8.6), Pedro (7.5)

SUBS:
Chalobah (6.8), Ivanović (6.2), Oscar (6.1)

OVERALL:

2016-17 player ratings - boro a